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  • Ahmed Saleh

King Salman chairs Cabinet session today

Riyadh, February 20, 2024, In a session presided over by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, the Cabinet convened today, celebrating the Kingdom's illustrious three-century legacy on the eve of Founding Day, which falls on February 22. Recognizing the unity, security, and stability that have been steadfast for generations, fostering continual progress and development, the Cabinet lauded the unwavering commitment and resilience of the state. It acknowledged the nation's onward march toward a promising future for all its inhabitants, deeply rooted in historical heritage.

The Cabinet was apprised of recent governmental activities, spotlighting efforts to fortify relationships with various nations, with a focus on collaborative ventures across diverse sectors. Notably, it commended the successful visit of the Dutch prime minister to the Kingdom, along with the productive meeting held between His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, Crown Prince and Prime Minister, and the visiting dignitary.

In a statement following the session, Minister of Media Salman bin Yousef Al-Dosary outlined the Cabinet's review of regional and international developments, reaffirming the Kingdom's stance articulated at the 2024 Munich Security Conference. This stance prioritizes efforts to address the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, advocating for a ceasefire, the withdrawal of Israeli occupation forces from the Gaza Strip, and increased delivery of relief aid to the affected populace.

Additionally, the Cabinet celebrated the Kingdom's successful bid to host the 11th session of the World Water Forum in 2027, which underscores its leadership in addressing global water issues and commitment to achieving sustainable development goals. It also applauded the outcomes of the World Smart Cities Forum (WSCF) in Riyadh, particularly noting the successful launches and memoranda of understanding signed to enhance sustainability and quality of life in Saudi cities, aligning with the Kingdom's aspiration to have at least ten of its cities ranked among the top 50 globally.

Further, the Cabinet deliberated on various achievements, including the inclusion of three new Saudi cities into the UNESCO Global Network of Learning Cities, the significant growth rate witnessed among major tourist destinations globally, and the Kingdom's leading position in the Electronic Government Services Index in the Middle East and North Africa. These milestones underscore the Kingdom's unwavering commitment and support across all sectors, aiming to set an exemplary standard on multiple fronts.

The Cabinet also reviewed a range of agenda items, including those addressed by the Shura Council, as well as conclusions presented by various councils and committees. Subsequently, it approved several decisions, notably:

1. Approval of a cooperation agreement between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Socialist Republic of Vietnam to combat crimes.

2. Approval of a draft memorandum of understanding to establish a Saudi-Brazilian Coordination Council.

3. Approval of two memoranda of understanding between the Saudi Data & AI Authority (SDAIA) and international organizations for collaboration in AI research, development, and innovation.

4. Authorization for the Ministry of Culture to discuss and sign a draft memorandum of understanding for cooperation with the Royal College of Art of the United Kingdom.

5. Authorization for the Minister of Finance and Chairman of the Board of Directors of ZATCA to sign an agreement with the Republic of Iceland to avoid double taxation on income and prevent tax evasion.

6. Approval of an agreement between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Republic of Portugal in the field of air transportation services.

7. Approval of a memorandum of understanding between the Saudi Education and Training Evaluation Commission and the Arab League Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization (ALECSO) to cooperate in evaluating and accrediting Arabic language curricula and programs.

8. Authorization for the Minister of Media to discuss and sign a memorandum of understanding for cooperation with the Portuguese Regulatory Authority for the Media.

9. Authorization for the Minister of Education to discuss and sign a memorandum of understanding in the field of technical and vocational training with the South African Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Innovation.

10. Approval of an agreement between the King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy and the International Atomic Energy Agency regarding the Junior Professional Officers Program.

11. Authorization for the Minister of Culture to discuss and sign a memorandum of understanding for cooperation with the Tashkent State University for Oriental Studies of Uzbekistan in the field of Arabic language.

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